Female Certified Security Pros Still Earn 8% Less

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A new study out this week from InfoSec Institute found that female certified cybersecurity practitioners earn as much as 18% less than their male counterparts.

"While the data showed the gender pay gap in cybersecurity (-8%) is lower than the national average for all industries, this gap magnified when considering the average salary for a U.S.-based cybersecurity practitioner exceeds $100,000," the study wrote. 

Despite the fact that women make up 47% of the workforce and hold more than half of all bachelor’s and advance degrees, women still earn less than their male counterparts and comprise only 11% of the cybersecurity workforce, according to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study.

Women hold fewer senior positions, as well, despite their higher levels of education. “This statistic has not changed since 2013, suggesting the industry needs to take a new approach to recruiting female cybersecurity practitioners if it intends to fill today’s 300,000 vacant cybersecurity positions,” InfoSec Institute wrote.

The study found that female students who commit to a career in cybersecurity confront challenges in the workplace that make them feel disenfranchised regardless of the certifications they hold. It states, “To analyze how much gender bias impacts women practitioners at a variety of certification levels, we pulled compensation and demographic data for 15 various IT and security certifications.”

Using data from PayScale.com, InfoSec Institute reported that on average women earn $103,052, while men who hold the same certificates earn $111,183. The InfoSec Institute report found that much needs to change in terms of gender pay disparity, but there is also good news.

Women in cybersecurity have the potential to earn far higher salaries than in other roles – doubling and sometimes tripling the national average for women in other industries. And with 300,000 open cybersecurity positions today and another 2 million projected openings by 2019, the industry needs all qualified candidates.

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